Dave and I drove up to sample some new and upcoming releases from a selection of Santa Cruz Mountains wineries. As usual, there were way too many wines to try, especially when pacing oneself. I think I did a pretty good job, getting to the most interesting wines I haven't tried. Dave got to some I didn't, so I'm looking forward to his notes.
Mount Eden '07 Chardonnay "Saratoga Cuvee" (SCM)
Nose - flinty, intense mineral, lemon verbena and other herbs, lemon, waxy white peach.
Waxy, followed by intense zing, good minerality, lemon, herbs (lemon verbena, oregano), pith. 91 pts
Mount Eden '07 Chardonnay "Estate" (SCM)
Nose - shy (served too cold), warm rich loquat, cinnamon spice, touches of lemon and orange.
Loquat/orange/lemon, good low-key oak spice, nice herbs, good minerality, good supporting richness of fruit. Drink '16-'26. 93+ pts
Mount Eden '08 Pinot Noir "Estate" (SCM)
Nose - heady and very complex, excellent minerality, rhubarb, cherry and purple basil, smoky/savory/ bay leaf, hint of kiwi.
Lovely savory spice, a bit tight, cherry and rhubarb, good minerality, touch of cranberry. Excellent! Drink '16-'30. 95 pts
Mount Eden '06 Cabernet Sauvignon "Saratoga Cuvee" (SCM)
This is from 5 vineyards in Saratoga and Los Gatos
Nose - smooth soft cherry, savory, smoky, black pepper.
Peppery black currant, firm, hints of tobacco and cherry. Drink '12-'16. 90 pts
Mount Eden '06 Cabernet Sauvignon "Estate" (SCM)
Nose - deep, smooth, a bit shy, black currant and blackberry.
Smooth entry to charry black currant, good mineral, smoky, dried herb, tight. Drink '18-'33. 92 pts
Mount Eden '07 Cabernet Sauvignon "Estate" (SCM)
Nose - basil, thyme, smooth black currant, cooked orange, good savory and smoky notes, touch of tobacco.
Firm tobacco and black currant, dusty tannin, light on its feet, background herbs and cherry. Drink '18-'35. 93 pts
Ridge '08 Cabernet Sauvignon "Estate" (SCM)
(75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc)
Nose - ethereal black currant and dried herbs.
Grippy/dusty black currant, intense, good mineral and acid, good complexity, touches of tobacco and cherry. Drink '16-'30. 93 pts
Bonny Doon '09 "Contra" (California)
Nose - deep smoky raspberry, brambly, good mineral.
Intense raspberry, blackberry, hint of rhubarb, semi-flat, good savory smoke and mineral. 90 pts
Bonny Doon '07 "Cigare Volante" (California)
Nose - smooth, good mineral, subtle depth, cherry, rustic, white pepper, complex, green wood.
Soft-to-flattish, savory, peppery, green wood, cherry/rhubarb/hay. 90+ pts
Kathryn Kennedy '09 Sauvignon Blanc (California)
Nose - bright gooseberry, touches of lime and sweet pea.
Perky lime/gooseberry/grass, tight, a bit pithy, sweat pea. 91 pts
Kathryn Kennedy '00 Cabernet Sauvignon "Estate" (SCM)
Nose - warm smooth maturing black currant with hints of tobacco, redwood and cherry.
Soft cedar/tobacco/black currant, pepper, a bit grippy and gritty, redwood, cherry, smoky savory herbs. 92 pts
Kathryn Kennedy '06 Cabernet Sauvignon "Estate" (SCM)
Nose - soft and elegant, good breadth of complexity.
Soft peppery black currant, tight, lime, cherry, smoke, very grippy, hint of orange custard. Drink '18-'33. 93 pts
Kathryn Kennedy '07 Cabernet Sauvignon "Small Lot" (SCM)
Nose - very giving, smooth cherry, black currant, savory dried herb.
Savory dried herbs - basil, smoky, soft black currant, background cherry and redwood, good acidity and complexity. Some grip. Drink '13-'23. 92+ pts
La Honda '08 Cabernet Sauvignon "Salinian Block" (SCM)
Nose - soft, peppery, intense black currant.
Black pepper, smoked chile, intense black currant, hint of char, gritty/grippy tannin. Drink '16-'21. 90 pts
La Honda '07 Cabernet Sauvignon "Naylor's Dry Hole" (Chalone)
Nose - deep and dark, black currant, black cherry, lemon merigue, soft minty note.
Soft, but grippy and gritty, cherry and black currant, red clay, touches of mint and redwood. 90 pts
Regale '07 Pinot Noir O'Neel Vineyard (Russian River Valley)
Nose - classic RRV - good minerality, cherry with a hint of cola.
Good minerality, tingly cherry, deep, good herb, hint of smoky savoriness, good acid. 92 pts
It's nice to come across an RRV Pinot that truly expresses itself. The region used to produce many lovely wines like this. Nowadays almost everybody ruins their wines by picking too late, yielding dark, thick, hot messes.
Regale '08 Pinot Noir O'Neel Vineyard (Russian River Valley)
Nose - smooth, soft, savory cherry, soft mint.
Lovely savory deep wild cherry, wood smoke. 90 pts
Regale '08 Pinot Noir "Sonoma Coast"
Nose - lovely smooth cherry, subtle vanillin oak, good mineral.
Nice smooth classic Sonoma Coast fruit, good intensity, dark minerality. 91 pts
Cooper-Garrod '06 Cabernet Franc "Estate" (SCM)
Nose - dried black plum and a hint of pepper.
Pert smoky plum, lighter body. 89 pts
Cooper Garrod '05 Cabernet Sauvignon "Estate" (SCM)
Nose - lovely classic cedary black currant, fairly soft expression, hint of white pepper.
Lovely cedary black currant, pert, leathery texture, touches of cherry and redwood, hints of tobacco and smoke. 92 pts
Cooper-Garrod '06 Cabernet Sauvivnon "George's Vineyard" (SCM)
Nose - tellicherry and white pepper, with cherry, soft, broad, lovely, good depth, back note of black currant.
Peppery/gritty, tellicherry, black currant, good length, smoky, tight. Drink '17-'27. 91 pts
Cooper-Garrod "'05 Test Pilot, F-86" (SCM)
(44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44 Cabernet Franc, 12 % Merlot)
Nose - smooth sweet cherry, with touches of soft mintiness and black currant.
Perky and dark, cherry and black currant, good mineral, tart and smoky, with supportive lemon zest. 90 pts
Cooper-Garrod '06 Syrah Finley Vineyard (SCM)
Nose - deep dark Syrah fruit, touches of graphite and white pepper.
Blackberry with white pepper and green peppercorn, touch of cherry, tight, needs time. Drink '16+. 92+ pts
Cooper-Garrod '09 Viognier "Estate" (SCM)
Nose - bright peach and gooseberry, touch of grass.
Less ripe white peach, touches of grass and gooseberry, good grip, pith. 90 pts
Cinnabar '06 Cabernet Sauvignon (SCM)
Nose - smooth depp subtle black currant, touches of cedar and vanilla.
Smooth black currant, white pepper, vanilla, soft dusty tannin. 88 pts
Cinnabar '07 Cabernet Franc Lewis Vineyard (Lodi)
Nose - smooth and elegant blackberry and vanilla spice.
Soft white pepper, blackberry, caramel chew, some dusty char. 86 pts
Big Basin '07 Syrah Fairview Ranch (Santa Lucia Highlands)
Nose - lovely elegant savory herbs, white pepper.
Lovely white pepper, savory smoky dried herbs, blackberry and cherry. 93 pts
Big Basin '08 Syrah "Homestead" (Santa Cruz and Monterey)
Nose - warm creme brulee, nutmeg and blackberry.
Nutmeg and blackberry, smooth/dusty tannin, somewhat savory, lovely, complex. 92 pts
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards '08 Durif (San Antonio Valley)
Nose - smooth dried red plum, boysenberry, sultana.
Chalky tannin, boysenberry and sultana, redwood, prune juice. 88 pts
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